The NESS Kick-Off Classic strives to utilize the best referees from Region 1 for the top level and showcase games. To this end, NESS KOC/MSC has implemented a referee identification and development program since the 2013 tournament.
- Approximately 110 referees and coach mentors from 9 states have been used.
- Multiple National Assessors, State Assessors and Referee Administrators will be on hand to work with the referees. As a result of these initiatives, more and more top referees from throughout Region 1 are applying to officiate at the tournament.